Aroya to set sail this year

The region’s first and only cruise line, AROYA Cruises, is now open for bookings for its December sailings


Cruise Saudi, a 100 per cent Public Investment Fund (PIF)-owned venture, has announced the commercial launch of its cruise line, AROYA Cruises, with bookings open.

Launched in line with Vision 2023 and Saudi Arabia’s plan to become one of the top global tourism destinations by 2030, AROYA Cruises aims to provide exceptional all-year-round experiences tailored to Saudi and GCC nationals and residents. Saudi Red Sea Authority (SRSA) had issued the first maritime tourism agent license for cruise ships to Cruise Saudi in May.

Turky Kari, Executive Director, AROYA Cruises, spoke to TTN Middle East. “AROYA represents the Arabian Roya, or the Arabian dream, the Arabian vision. So, it’s a combination of two words, Arabian and Roya.”

As the world’s first Arabian cruise line, AROYA Cruises will offer unique and authentic experiences for guests at sea and onshore, reflecting Arabian generosity and Saudi’s famous Hafawa (hospitality).

We have partnered with Heinemann, one of the leading duty-free operators globally. Our retail area is going to be one of the biggest available at sea
– Turky Kari

Revealing the name of the ship, Kari said, “Our first ship is going to be called AROYA, we’re going to keep the name as is to make it simpler to people. In our strategy, we’re planning to have three ships in the long-term.”

With the ability to accommodate 3,362 passengers, AROYA will be a floating resort, 335mt in length, with 1,678 cabins, including Balcony and Sea View Cabins, Suites, and Villas. The entertainment concept has been curated to offer activities for all passenger groups. It also has 20 entertainment venues across 18 decks that will allow passengers to indulge in an array of experiences, including shopping in the Souq AROYA retail area, and enjoy performances in the 1,018-seater AROYA Theatre which will captivate guests with headline entertainment, movies, and dedicated shows for children.

Families can connect in the Atrium Area which will host Gathering Hubs and Variety Acts, and enjoy the 1,858 sqm ‘kids zone’ with a splash area equipped with waterslides. In addition, land excursions will be handled by Cruise Saudi offering a similar experience beyond the seas.



Elaborating on keeping cultural needs in mind, he said, “We have actually two swimming pools, one of one of them will be dedicated to females by hours. So, during the day, let’s say three, four hours will be dedicated to females. It will be covered so they will have their time, their privacy. And during the remaining hours of the day, the same pool that is dedicated to female will be open for all.”

Kari also said that the ship will be tailored to Arabian experiences down to the toilets, which will have wet facilities not usually seen onboard cruise cabins. 

Speaking about the retail experience onboard, Kari said, “We have partnered with Heinemann, one of the leading duty-free operators globally. Our retail area is going to be one of the biggest available at sea.”

For those looking to relax and unwind while onboard, “Blossom by AROYA” spa will have all passenger wellness needs covered. With a focus on immersion of the five senses – sound, sight, taste, aroma and touch – the facilities include a thermal suite, snow room, relaxation room, and treatment room, as well as a beauty clinic, beauty salon, men’s barbers and gym.

With five complimentary restaurants, 11 specialty restaurants, and 12 cafés and lounges, AROYA offers a wide variety of F&B options from across the globe, spanning Lebanese, Italian and Asian. Among these dining outlets is IRTH, the first Saudi restaurant at sea, featuring traditional Arabian dining.

For an elevated offering, the AROYA VIP package provides exclusive designated areas for a premium experience. With spacious and unique accommodation, outdoor lounges and exceptional dining, the AROYA-exclusive experience provides the very best amenities and services for guests. The cruise line aims to reinvent the meaning of holidays in Arabia to create an Arabian cruise line offering for guests at sea and onshore, commercially and sustainably.

With the inaugural sailings scheduled in the Red Sea in December 2024, itineraries will include time at the Cruise Saudi-owned private island, as well as unforgettable visits to major destinations along the Red Sea including Egypt and Jordan.

Cabin fares start from SAR 558 (USD 148.67) per person, per night.